Can Doctors Cause Cerebral Palsy?


Doctors can cause cerebral palsy (CP) by making mistakes shortly before, during, and after a baby’s birth. When a doctor fails to diagnose or treat a condition or uses too much force, it can cause brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy. This can also be caused by mismanaging the second stage of labor or failing to order a cesarean.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent and life-altering condition involving handicapping conditions that can be very severe. The condition is caused by brain injury during prenatal development, childbirth, or soon after birth, and will usually manifest itself during the early stages of infancy.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy may include:

  • Partial paralysis
  • Severe language difficulties such as speed impediments or nonverbal communication
  • Seizures
  • Challenges in cognitive and reasoning skills
  • Difficult bladder and bowel control
  • Breathing and swallowing difficulties

In many cases, cerebral palsy results from brain damage or abnormal brain development during pregnancy. If a medical practitioner made an error or acted with negligence during childbirth care, they can be liable for damages.

You May Be Able to Recover Your Damages

If your child sustained brain injuries at birth and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you should contact an attorney who has successfully represented plaintiffs in cerebral palsy cases. They understand the needs of families who are coping with CP and can direct you to resources that can help you.

There is no average amount in cerebral palsy cases because the circumstances in each case are unique. However, one family received a $14,000,000 settlement for a cerebral palsy case after their baby developed CP after being deprived of oxygen during birth.

How Cerebral Palsy Can Be Caused During Childbirth

Cerebral palsy can result from head trauma that occurs when a baby’s head is large or the birth canal is narrow. Usually, an obstetrician will recognize the problem beforehand and order a cesarean. Failure to do so may be an action that warrants litigation and the awarding of compensatory damages.

The use of medical instruments or devices by a doctor during childbirth may cause a disruption in oxygen to the baby’s brain, resulting in brain damage and cerebral palsy. Such misuse of medical equipment during delivery can also result in litigation.

Vacuum delivery can cause cranial hemorrhages and other potential dangers. Cranial hemorrhages are directly linked to cerebral palsy development in infants.

The Symptoms of Birth Injuries

There are a number of birth injury symptoms that could lead to cerebral palsy. These may include:

  • Fracture in the skull
  • Arching the back excessively, especially while crying
  • Seizures
  • Copious drooling
  • Stiff movements
  • Very slow or absent reflexes

If you notice your baby displaying any of these symptoms, it may be time to have them evaluated by your pediatrician. CP is not curable, but with treatment and early intervention, it may be more manageable.

What to Do if Your Baby Has Been Injured

Although a very serious and difficult condition, a child with cerebral palsy can live a long and happy life with proper care. Some children with milder cases of cerebral palsy may go on to work, to live independently, and to live productive lives.

The awarding of legal damages can make an enormous difference in the lives of families with a child who has cerebral palsy. Medical care and assistance and making disabled access modifications to one’s home can be very expensive. If your child’s CP was caused by a doctor’s mistake, they should be held accountable by covering your damages.

About the Author

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The content on the website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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